About 73,000 overseas Filipino workers and their dependents have enrolled in the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s training programs, its chief said.
According to TESDA, some 71,251 of the said figure have enrolled via the online program while the rest have taken actual scholarship programs this year.
The 71,251 have enrolled during the pandemic, from March 16 to September 13, it added.
TESDA Director General Isidro Lapeña said the agency not only trains individuals but also ensures that the training would result in job opportunities or livelihood.
“Based on our survey, those who trained with us have an 85-percent employability rate,” he said, adding that among the most in-demand jobs now are in the fields of agriculture, construction, health and wellness, Information Technology and Business Process Management, and marketing.
Lapeña said due to the slowdown in the economic activities, TESDA has been prioritizing agriculture, to help address food security.
“We give focus to these fields that would likely give more employment opportunities to our countrymen during this time,” he said.
To further reach out to the OFWs, he said TESDA has launched the “TESDA Abot Lahat and OFWs” last June.
The program provides easy access to TESDA training programs, by providing the OFWs and their dependents with a link on TESDA mobile app. Through this link, the OFWs and their dependents can easily fill out the registration form, Lapeña said.
“The regional and provincial offices have also set up their respective OFW desk,” he said, noting that there are also Malasakit Help Desks at the country’s international airports, which would assist the OFWs and inform them of TESDA’s programs.
Lapeña, meanwhile, said TESDA has been closely coordinating with the OFW community.
“Because of this, we now have an ongoing training on scaffolding work inspection, with a former OFW as a trainer,” he said.
That online training, he said, was attended by OFWs from different regions, former OFWs, and even those who are currently abroad.